Is Your License Suspended Immediately After a DUI in California?

Is Your License Suspended Immediately After a DUI in California?

If you find yourself facing DUI charges, you might be wondering, “Is your license suspended immediately after a DUI in California?” Being arrested for a DUI means that you have undergone a chemical test and have been found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. The courts and other legal authorities will then take immediate action. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t options and legal steps that you can take to maintain your driving privileges.

It can prove vital to employ the assistance of an experienced La Verne DUI attorney who can help guide you through the process of having your license suspended. They can act in your interest while advocating for your rights.

How License Suspension Works and How It Takes Effect

If you are charged with a DUI or even refuse to undergo chemical testing, the California DMV can either suspend or revoke your license. After that, you are no longer legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle until your suspension has been lifted or your license is reinstated.

Under general circumstances, a California police officer can pull you over if they suspect you of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They may then uncover enough evidence to make a DUI arrest. When this happens, the officer will immediately confiscate your driver’s license. You will then receive a Notice of Suspension, which acts as a temporary license, expiring in 30 days. You may still drive during this time period.

There are some cases where the officer will not issue you a temporary license. Instead, the DMV will send it via the mail. At this time, you will need to call and schedule a hearing with the DMV.

Can I Challenge a License Suspension?

A DMV hearing will be separate from any that are related to your criminal DUI charges, but you may still have a lawyer represent you. You may also file a “Petition for Alternative Writ of Mandate,” which is a form you can download for free on court websites. If you are not represented by an attorney, it is your full responsibility to fill out the petition and complete all necessary paperwork, not the courts. Keep in mind that there are also fees to file this petition.

What to Know About Your DMV Hearing

It is possible to contest your DUI charges while attending your DMV hearing. At this hearing, a DMV employee will act as the hearing officer and will listen to the evidence presented by law enforcement on your alleged drunk driving. You will then have the opportunity to dispute that evidence. Know that this hearing will not take place in a courtroom but either in person at an office of the DMV’s Division of Driver Safety or over the phone.

It is also important to remember that you are entitled to several rights during these hearings. They are as follows:

  • Self-testimony
  • Having a DUI criminal defense attorney represent you at your own personal expense
  • The ability to challenge any evidence presented by law enforcement

Your defense attorney can also call evidence into question and employ some of these common defenses:

  • There was no probable cause for the officer to execute a traffic stop.
  • The field sobriety tests were not properly given by law enforcement.
  • You were not the one actually operating the vehicle.
  • There was no refusal on your part to take the chemical test.

License Ramifications Due to a DUI

In California, for a first-time DUI offense that constitutes a misdemeanor, you can face a possible license suspension time of 6-10 months. However, if the case involved an accident where someone was hurt or you refused chemical testing, that time period can last up to a year. In some cases, you will be given the option to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, which can allow you to continue to drive. The possibility of this is completely dependent on the circumstances surrounding your case.


Q: What Happens When You Get Your First DUI in California?

A: Upon your first DUI offense in California, the DMV is required to suspend or revoke your driving privileges after you have failed or refused chemical testing. Your license could be suspended for 6-10 months, depending on any aggravating factors in your case. You may also find yourself subject to a litany of fines, penalties, or other restrictions unique to your case.

Q: Can You Drive After Getting a DUI in California?

A: In California, you may drive for a period of 30 days following the date of your license suspension unless that license is found to be expired or invalid. Within this timeframe, you have just 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV to challenge your license suspension. Your DUI lawyer can work to restore some or all of your driving privileges.

Q: How Do I Know If My California Driver’s License Is Suspended?

A: There are a few ways to know the status of your California driver’s license and if it is suspended, revoked, or not. You can:

  • Check online on the DMV website.
  • Send a form request to the DMV headquarters.
  • Ask in person at any DMV office.

Just remember that all these available methods involve paying a fee.

Q: What Are the New DUI Laws in California?

A: In 2024, California DUI law states that anyone driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher is committing a crime. Also, even if your blood alcohol is not above the legal limit, there is still the potential to be arrested on suspicion alone. Remember, too, that bicycles and scooters are considered vehicles in California, and penalties remain the same when operating these modes of transportation while under the influence.

Talk to a DUI Defense Attorney Today

The process of a license restriction or suspension due to a DUI charge can be a difficult thing to navigate alone. Luckily, you don’t have to. Finding the right DUI defense attorney could prove vital to the outcome of your case. The team at The Law Office of Daniel P. Flores can work to reduce or eliminate the charges against you or their consequences.

Contact us today, and let us work in your interest to offer solid legal advice and assistance with your DUI case.

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